Cosby’s spokesman announced Monday that the 80-year-old comedian is bringing in Tom Mesereau to lead a retooled defence team. Lawyers from the first trial in June had said they wanted off the case.
Mesereau will be joined by Sam Silver, who represented now-imprisoned former U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah of Pennsylvania in a corruption case, and former federal prosecutor Kathleen Bliss.
Cosby is being retried on charges he drugged and molested Toronto woman Andrea Constand more than a decade ago. The original trial ended in a deadlocked jury, and Cosby claims any sexual activity between himself and Constand was consensual.
The deadlock was a victory of sorts for the pioneering black comedian, now frail and isolated, who risked spending the rest of his life in prison if convicted.
But the trial has irrevocably damaged the once-towering icon of popular culture, loved by millions as “America’s Dad” and best known for his seminal role as a father and obstetrician on hit 1984-92 TV series The Cosby Show.
More than 60 women have publicly accused Cosby of being a serial sexual predator, but the trial was the only criminal case brought against Cosby, since most of the alleged abuse happened too long ago to prosecute.
—With files from Chris Jancelewicz